Americans are not known for prioritizing quality sleep. We live in a society in which there is always work to be done, television to watch, conversations to have and numerous reasons to both stay up late and get up early. Failing to get adequate sleep can affect your health in more ways than one. In addition to affecting your body’s ability to function properly, it also makes you more prone to causing accidents at work and on the road.
According to a study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, motorists are much more likely to be involved in accidents if they choose to drive while they are drowsy. In recent years, a substantial amount of media attention has been given to the fact that drowsy commercial drivers tend to cause truck accidents. However, motorists should be aware that they risk accidents in much the same way if they are driving drowsy while operating passenger vehicles.
It is important to note that it is not only critical that you sleep an adequate number of hours before getting behind the wheel. It is also important that your sleep quality is adequate. The recently published study specifically focused on drivers who suffer from a condition called sleep apnea. When individuals suffer pauses in their breathing, their sleep quality can be dramatically affected even if they have slept for seven hours or more.
For your own safety and for the benefit of those who may encounter you on the road, please ensure that you are properly rested before getting behind the wheel. If you sleep for too little time or the quality of your sleep is poor, you could cause devastating and even fatal accidents.
Source: The Car Connection, “Study: Drowsy Drivers Three Times More Likely To Have Auto Accidents,” Richard Read, Oct. 16, 2013